Aruna Quadri successfully defended the title he won last year as he emerged winner of the 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Nigeria Open in Lagos on Sunday.
To emerge as the champion, Quadri defeated Austria’s Robert Gardos (15-13, 11-3, 8-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-1) in the final while Russia’s Polina Mikhailova won the women’s singles title.
Before berthing in the final, Quadri had ended the adventures of qualifier, India’s Soumyajit Ghosh (11-8, 11-5, 11-4, 8-11, 11-4); while Gardos had to dip deep to beat Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck, the no.2 seed (11-3, 7-11, 8-11, 15-13, 13-11, 11-9).
Unlike Quadri, Polina Mikhailova finished the night as the most successful player of the competition as earlier in the day she had partnered colleague Yana Noskova to women’s doubles gold.
To win the women’s Singles, Mikhailova, the no.2 seed, recovered from a three games to nil deficit to beat Russian colleague, Yana Noskova, the no.4 seed, in the final (6-11, 6-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-3, 15-13, 15-13).
In the semi-final stage, Polina Mikhailova overcame Indian qualifier, Sreeja Akula (11-6, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9), Yana Noskova accounted for Italy’s Deborah Vivarelli, the no.7 seed (12-10, 11-4, 7-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-9). It was for Polina Mikhailova her second career win at an ITTF Challenge tournament in six women’s singles finals; the one prior success was in 2012 in Belarus.
Quadri’s 2019 win had increased his Challenge series title to three having won the 2018 edition of the Nigeria Open as well as the 2017 Polish Open.
But it was a disappointment for Nigeria’s duo of Olajide Omotayo and Segun Toriola as they had to settle for silver in the men’s doubles event.